Umembeso with Xolani and Mbali

Premier Wedding Photography in Durban, South Africa


Umembeso is a process in the traditional Zulu wedding and is a cultural practice that is valued by many that still stick to  traditions. It happens once the ilobolo has been paid. Umembeso is the ceremony that is carried out when the bride’s family welcomes the groom and his family. For me these ceremonies are the most exciting to photograph as they fit perfectly into our reportage style of capturing an event.  The entire day is full of amazing moments to capture and although it has a relaxed and informal feel to the day, you still have to be alert to what is happening all around you as you can easily miss out on some ideal photographic opportunities.

Mbali and Xolani must have spent a lot of time planning this day as everything was provided for and anybody who attended whether officially invited or not was taken care of.  We have covered many  Umembeso’s in the past but this was the first time that we have captured the extremely important part of the process where the negotiations are done. It is quite intense but at the same time it provides an opportunity for the two families to get together and agree on the way forward. This particular Umembeso was one to remember and our team thoroughly enjoyed capturing the special day for Xolani and Mbali and we can’t wait to witness the rest of the process in this Traditional Zulu wedding.

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